COVID-19: Independence Day
As of Saturday 4th July, many businesses across England will be able to open their doors again to the general public after months of furlough, working remotely and staggered hours.
While lockdown is easing, several precautionary measures are being put in place to minimise risk to staff and customers, including the use of PPE, social distancing measures, face masks and tighter internal policies on hand sanitation.
Businesses that are being allowed to open from the 4th July with special measures in place include:
- Pubs, restaurants and bars – with an indoor socially distanced table service and contact tracing
- Hair salons and barbers – with additional personal protective measures such as visors and masks
- Hotels, motels and campsites – with regularly decontaminated shared facilities
- Theatres, cinemas, museums and galleries
- Libraries, community centres, bingo halls
- Places of worship, weddings and funerals – but singing is banned
While many more businesses will be able to get back to some kind of normality, there are still a number that must remain closed however, including:
- Indoor gyms
- Swimming pools
- Beauty salons
- Indoor play areas
[If your business covers multiple areas – a hair and beauty salon, for example – only the sanctioned services will be allowed. Please visit gov.uk for more information.]
But what measures should be put in place to comply with the latest guidance on reopening?
COVID-Secure Risk Assessment
One of the first items to consider is undertaking a COVID-19 workplace risk assessment to effectively manage the risk of coronavirus in your business.
This will be an essential tool in helping you understand who is most at risk, where the risks are, and how to efficiently minimise the spread of coronavirus amongst your staff and customers.
For more information, see our COVID-19 risk assessment blog here.
To help the hospitality sector reopen, a new 1 metre plus rule has been put into place across England – meaning that people should try to remain 2 metres apart where possible, but can distance by just 1 metre if not practical.
For businesses this will mean assessing shop floor space, distance between customers and staff, queuing areas and other potential congestion points.
Practical measures might include creating a one-way system, limiting the number of customers allowed instore any one time, or staggering work shifts and appointments.
Not all workers however will be able to adhere to social distancing measures, even at 1 metre, such as hair dressers.
PPE – Personal Protective Equipment
When social distancing cannot be kept, PPE may be required.
The most common forms of PPE that may be required outside of healthcare settings are face masks, hand sanitiser and visors.
Hair dressers, for example, will be required to wear visors in addition to face masks due to their prolonged close contact with others.
In some cases, additional protection powered air purifying respirator devices (PAPR) may be required. PAPR devices provide whole face and respiratory protection by delivering a continuous supply of filtered air to the user, helping them to keep cool and breathe effortlessly whilst staying protected against respiratory hazards.
Unlike traditional face coverings, which can be hot, uncomfortable and are only intended for wearing in short bursts, PAPR devices can be worn for extended periods without downtime.
For more information on PPE, RPE or to speak to one of our experts, get in touch.